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Jan 25, 2014 07:04 PM

Are we allowed to share horrible, completely unredeemable experiences here?

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We just had literally the worst experience with RED's Fresh Food on 620 out by the lake. Around 130-ish today, we ordered some food for pick up. On the way to pick up the food, my wife was in an auto accident. (She's safe, thank God.)

However, while I was on the phone with insurance/tow trucks/rental car agenices/etc, I received no less than 3 calls from the folks at Red's inquiring about when we would pick up our order. I told them my wife was in an accident on the way to pick up the order, and we currently had more pressing issues. After hanging up on the final call, I was immediately contacted by the "manager" of Red's, who requested payment for the meal we had not picked up. To be honest, I was baffled. I less-than-politely reaffirmed to him that my wife had just been in a car accident, and I was unconcerned about the order. I hung up and considered the matter closed.

Fast forward to 30 minutes ago: My wife is home, safe and recovering, and we get a knock at the door. It was the manager of Red's, with a bag of now-three-hour-old food, demanding payment. I DID NOT GIVE THIS RESTAURANT MY ADDRESS. REPEAT: I DID NOT GIVE THEM MY ADDRESS. This guy looked up my address based on my phone number and came here, expecting what, I don't know.

I step outside to speak with him. He attempts to hand me the bag, which I do not take. He says "30 dollars". I tell him I'm not going to take delivery of this food, and he can get off my property or things will get ugly, quick. He begins mentioning something about us placing the order. I reiterated that my wife had gotten into a car accident on the way to get the food, and his response was "I don't care." So, he was then advised in no uncertain terms to vacate my property immediately, which he did. He then stood on the street at the top of the driveway attempting to take photos, until I emerged outside again. He then drove off, mentioning that if he didn't receive payment by Monday, he would "call the police". Getting a good laugh out of this last bit, I invited him to do so and offered to call them for him myself.

Needless to say, this shook the wife pretty good. Long story short, as an avid, active Austin foodie I recommend you avoid Red's like you owe it child support.

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  1. Since this happened in Texas, I'm just pleased that no firearms were involved.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mwhitmore

      Maybe there should've been firearms involved.

    2. I'm really sorry about the accident. Good to hear she is OK.Stand your ground ! I'm on your side.

      1 Reply
      1. Sorry, but I have to take Red's side inasmuch as your obligation to pay is concerned, although they could have handled it better. They should have politely explained when they first called that although they understood your predicament and were glad no injury was involved, you would need to pay for the food. They did actually attempt to deliver it to you, which was above and beyond their duty. If you had been en route to a movie or play for which the tickets had already been purchased, they would not refund your money because you were no-shows. The restaurant could have opted to take the loss on the unclaimed order, but they are not obligated to do so.

        7 Replies
        1. re: greygarious

          Respectfully, I spoke with various law-enforcement officers throughout the day today, and they confirmed there has been no criminal activity on my part. There is literally no obligation on my side.

          1. re: shanksound

            yes, you didn't dine and dash, you crashed and never dined.

            greyg - while I get what you're saying, the better PR/marketing move of going above and beyond would have been to (still stalker-creepy) deliver the uneaten food to the house gratis and they would have a couple of customers with a lifelong warm spot for them instead of a justifiably irate person ready to tell anyone willing to listen of the manager's utter lack of compassion.

            1. re: greygarious

              This is insane. The people were in a car accident! Sometimes some level of humanity must supercede profit. Geez, what a sad outlook. And many places will refund your money or let you exchange tickets for another show if you explain the situation. No, they are not obligated to, but many business owners understand things happen and it's a great way to win loyal customers.

              If the restaurant had said something to the effect of, "Gosh we are so sorry to hear that. No problem whatsoever." I would imagine the OP would be much more likely to return, thank them for understanding and recommend them to friends. Heck, that owner could have sealed the deal by bringing over fresh food and offering it for free for their trouble. "We understand you experienced some trauma today, and wanted to help you out a bit. Here's your meal, no charge. Feel better." Imagine that?

              Instead, they ended up with this mess. Terrible. Bad business decision.

              1. re: Jerseygirl111

                I was thinking the same thing. The manager could have driven the food to the house and left it for free, and the OP would be on here writing a whole different tale that would be enormously positive advertising.

              2. re: greygarious

                You think it is a smart move to show up with three-hour old [and bacteria laden food] unannounced and demanding payment? What if he bullied the OP into taking it and they were subsequently poisoned. Would you continue to side with Red? Maybe Red needs to collect payment in advance if he cannot take the one in a thousand no show over the $6-8 he is actually out.

                1. re: greygarious

                  completely disagree. the reaction of the employees and manager borders on the insane. the only obligation the OP had was to take care of his wife (and yes, thank goodness she was ok). the restaurant spent more money than the food was worth in harassing this man and his wife. absolutely incomprehensible behavior. i hope this gets out and everyone avoids them like the plague.

                2. The original comment has been removed
                  1. wow, just WOW.

                    I think usually the CH position (from the wrist slaps I've received) is to be sort of neutral about which place gave bad service, but that is so far beyond the pale...

                    if he's not the owner, his boss may find the manager's behavior 'interesting'

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: hill food

                      Found out it WAS the owner. Pretty knuckle-headed, imo.

                      1. re: shanksound

                        not that I make it to your area, but let us know how long this yutz stays in business.

                        1. re: shanksound

                          I live in Dallas, not Austin, and not familiar with the place, so I buddied up to Google and find it is not a chain, but its apparently got enough of a following that it has a Zagat rating.... My take? For an owner/manager to behave that way, the place may well be in deep trouble financially for an owner/manager to go off the deep end and behave that way. NO manager, owner or not, in his right mind would allow such behavior that will give this kind of justified negative publicity to a successful OR failing business! Incomprehensible! But I'll bet he regrets his actions now that he has had time to think about it.